Talk about suffering for your art! Photographer braves stings for stunning bluebottle snaps

A photographer has braved multiple painful stings to capture these stunning snaps of Bluebottles.

Fluorescent sea creatures

A close up shot of the stunning bluebottle jellyfish

Matthew Smith, originally from Newark, Notts, focuses his shots specifically on siphonophore called ‘Portuguese man o’ war’.

Fluorescent sea creatures

Matthew suffered several painful stings during his time in the water

The creatures, which look like jellyfish, are renowned for their bright blue colour which attracted Matthew.

Fluorescent sea creatures

Matthew compares the pain to that of an electric shock that can leave a dull ache for hours after

But the tentacles deliver a painful sting – often wrapping themselves on his hands and neck despite a wetsuit.

Fluorescent sea creatures

Matthew used a flash gun to highlight the creature’s incredible blue colouring

He has been photographing them for the past 12 months at Bass Point Cove in New South Wales, Australia.

Matthew, 38, uses an ‘over-underwater’ technique with a waterproof lens dome he made himself.

In order to get highlight the glowing effect of the bluebottles he uses an underwater flash gun.

He said: “What you don’t see in the still image is the constantly changing dynamics of what’s going on.

“The ocean is surging back and forth, the wind is blowing and these guys are perfect sailors – they motor along in the slightest breeze.

“I’m also trying to frame all this up whilst treading water or swimming alongside trying not to get stung. It can be frustrating at the best of times.

“The stings start out like an electric shock feeling, followed by a stinging, tingling sensation which then dulls to muscle numbness around the area after an hour or two.

“The numbness lasts the rest of the day and too many stings can be potentially dangerous so I do my best to minimise it.

“I guess they do say you have to suffer for your art.”